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PIA Press Release

Infrastructure projects beefed up in ARMM

Koronadal City (25 June) -- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Social Fund Project (ASFP) and contractors inked on Tuesday agreements for the construction of three Strategic Regional Infrastructure (SRI) sub-projects under the Japan International Coordinating Agency (JICA) component.

The projects are part of the second batch SRI projects up for implementation this year.

Some P35 million was allotted for the construction of two-storey and eight-classroom high school building at Andong National High School in Lumbatan, Lanao del Sur; access road from the national highway to Dr. Serapio B. Montaner Hospital Road in Malabang, Lanao del Sur; and Local Government Center of four municipalities in Maguindanao province.

Lawyer Mustapha Sambolawan, ASFP project manager, said the contract signings manifest the ARMM's effort to hasten the implementation of infrastructure projects to incessantly address poverty thereby enhance development and socio-economic condition of the people.

"These projects demonstrate ARMM regional government earnest desire to uplift the social and economic situation of people in the poor and conflict-affected communities in the region. This could not only improve employment opportunities and household incomes but assures food security as well," Sambolawan stressed.

Sambolawan added, "The concreting of access road in Dr. Serapio B. Montaner Hospital ensures safe and easy access of patients to health services while the construction of Local Government Centers will provide quality venue for local governments of each municipality, line agencies and civil society organizations towards responsive local governance."

The ASFP is currently awaiting JICA's notice to implement the construction of two-storey and eight-classroom high school buildings in Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi namely Maimbung National High School, Lamitan National High School and Bato-Bato National Highschool in Panglima Sugala; and the construction of rock causeway in Banguigui Fishing Port in Sulu.

On June 11, the ASFP and JICA sealed an agreement for the erection of four SRI sub-projects on Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-tawi, all island-provinces of the region.

A remaining SRI sub-project, which is the construction of two-storey and eight-classroom high school building of Maguindanao National High School in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao is under evaluation and due for rebidding, according to Sambolawan.

ARMM Regional Governor Datu Zaldy Ampatuan has lauded the efforts of ASFP, ARMM line agencies and community groups which collectively collaborate during consultations, project preparations and planning processes to ensure efficient services for the people in the autonomous region.

The ASFP is composed of three project components - the Community Development Assistance (CDA), SRI and Institutional Strengthening and Governance (ISG), which aims to foster sustainable development in the ARMM. ASFP has 33 SRI subprojects approved by JICA in 2007 where seven of the first batch had already begun construction last year and seven of the second batch this year are awaiting notice from JICA to start the implementation.

The CDA and SRI project components in the ARMM are part of the 2.47-billion yen commitment of Japan government through the JICA fund in 2005 to support the peace and development program of the Republic of the Philippines. (PIA 12) [top]

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